Labor Party defends stance on coal mining

Regional Queenslanders campaigning for the coal mining industry. Image: Bravus Mining & Resources, fka. Adani Group

The Labor Party’s unexpected loss in the federal election over the weekend could owe to its anti-mining policies, evident in regional Australians’ eroding support for the party.

Federal member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon admitted the party’s unexpected loss could be attributed to its anti-mining policies and stance on Adani Australia’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

Fitzgibbon labelled the Labor Party’s treatment of the Carmichael development in Queensland as ‘too nuanced’, leading coal mining communities to interpret the move as an opposition to the project.

“We consistently said two things on Adani: that it had to stand on its own two feet and it had to pass the most stringent and science-based environmental hurdles, but we needed to say a third thing,” Fitzgibbon said in a radio interview with ABC Breakfast RN.

“We needed to make it clear that if it was able to do so, then of course Labor would welcome the investment and jobs. We failed to do that and it was fair for Hunter coal miners to think, well, if they are not prepared to back the mining industry in Queensland, why will would they back us the in Hunter Valley?”

The victory for the Liberal party (LNP) is hailed by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan, who said the message of ‘high-vis workers’ in central Queensland was ‘loud and clear.”

“We need to create jobs. That’s why the LNP is back to work today pushing for the Adani mine to be built…” Canavan said.

“To the workers of Central Queensland – thank you for backing us so we can continue to back you. … We have so many opportunities here and the LNP is going to fight for you every single day.”

Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow, meanwhile expressed his gratitude for Queenslanders’ support of the coal mining industry, while slamming the state Labor Government’s move to delay the Carmichael project.

“Queenslanders do not understand the Queensland Labor Government’s continued efforts to tarnish and delay the work of Adani Mining, which has been held to the highest level of scrutiny over the past eight years of planning and demonstrated its capability to operate as one of Australia’s leading mining companies,” he said.

“As evidenced by this weekend’s election results, Queenslanders have no tolerance for political actions that are unjust and put people’s livelihoods at risk.”

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